Monday, June 29, 2009

Lush Bucket ... and yet more proof my son is very much like his father

The day after my parents left was kinda a letdown. We went from beach trips, movie nights and tons of new toys to our regularly scheduled Mondays. After a long day at work, or in Jack's case the sitter's, we were all a little worn out from the past few days.

So I walked into the living room to find Jack sprawled out on the couch, enjoying one of Daddy's back rubs. Look at this face. It must have been exhausting spending a few hours this afternoon being held and entertained by the babysitter. Such a rough life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Fun

So we are in the middle of 5 weeks of summer guests right now! We love hosting visitors and hanging out with friends and family here at the beach! Since this is our last summer here we're trying to make the most of it. That said, expect shorter posts these next few weeks. Or at least less words and more pictures!
These are from Marmie and Poppa's visit this past week:
This is Jack patiently waiting for Poppa to get off the phone and take him on a walk. Jack got more walks out of Marmie and Poppa this week than he's gotten from me all year!

Marmie's lap makes the best beach chair!
Jack's going to become a water boy whether he likes it or not! In this case, he kinda liked it.
Jack doesn't know how fortunate he is to have the Boogie Boarding Master as his grandfather. He has a rich legacy to carry on. We're starting him young.
This was Jon's first Father's Day. This is the gift Jack got him. I'm not sure who's more surprised - Jon or Jack.And of course what visit from Marmie and Poppa would be complete without new toys involved!? Check out Jack's new Gator. I'll have to get a video when he figures it out what to do with it. The voices and song it plays are too good to keep to ourselves.

And as Jon would say, "we've officially arrived" now that we have a toy box in our house. I'm having a hard time looking past the primary colored box sitting in my neutral/earthy living room but I'm sure I'll get used to it soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Celebrity Look-Alike

Jack woke up this morning with some crazy, uncontrollable hair. I told him he had Kate Gosselin hair and to smile for a photo. He decided to really "get into character" and gave me this face instead.

So here is Jack's best Kate Gosselin impression:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Dear Dad,
Thanks for helping take care of me the past 8 months. I bet you didn't think bringing home a newborn would be as difficult as Swab Summer, or as tiring as football pre-season, but now we have lots of fun!

I'm so glad you took over bathtime, you're so much more particular than mom. And I like it when you put me to bed, mom makes such a big deal out of bedtime, you'd think I was going away for a week! That's why I still make noises in the middle of the night every once in a while, just to remind her that I'm not that far away and she doesn't have to get all sentimental about saying goodnight. (But don't tell her that.)
Dad, you're the best. When I grow up I want to be big and strong just like you. People already say I take after you, but mom keeps telling me I need to "be gentle" when I'm playing and she's always smooshing me with kisses. Maybe we could get her a girl baby for her birthday so she has something to schmooze on and then you and I can spend more time together wrestling. I know you always let me win, but someday I'm going to take you by surprise! I've already learned that grabbing you by the nose is tons of fun! Now that I've gotten so big, can you take me on your next scuba trip with Poppie? And when are you gonna start sharing your coffee with me? I could use the caffeine, maybe then I wouldn't have to take so many naps and we could hang out more.
Before you know it I'm going to be all grown up, Dad. One day I'm learning to pick up Cheerios, the next I'll be picking up a football. And I know that no matter how old I am, you'll always be there to catch whatever it is I'm throwing. :)

I love you Daddy!

Your Handsome Boy, JACK

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another Year Older

I don't feel like I'm getting older. Sometimes it feels like time stopped somewhere during my freshman/sophomore year of college. And my little brother would probably tell you my sense of fashion did too. But I'm on the downward slope to 30 and I've been dragging my heels along the way. Not that getting older is a bad thing. I love how my life has progressed over the past 26 years. I love that I'm married to that same boy I used to sit two rows behind in church, I love that we're building our little love nest out of sweet memories and discounted furniture, I love that the sound of boyish laughter and baby toys now fills our home, and I love that we can't help but look forward to the future and getting old together because we know it's going to be that good! But there are still some days where I'm left wondering, "When did all this happen?" Last night I was driving home on this one stretch of road that, despite being in the middle of this urban beach community, reminds both Jon and I of home. It's a narrow, windy road lined with leafy green trees on either side. We detour along this route all the time just because it "feels like home." It was just me on this beautiful summer evening, a storm approaching in the distance. Without a carseat in the back, I had the windows all down and the music turned up. For a moment I felt like I was in high school again, driving home from work. Unwinding after a long day checking-in campers and dipping ice cream. Enjoying the summer air, putting off homework for just a car ride longer. It was just one of those moments where, on the spiral of life, your today just happens to take a turn by your yesterday. Just one of those moments that makes me grateful that I have sweet memories to look back on, to pull out and enjoy every once in a while, whether they are as simple as driving home from my $7/hour job, as somber as the 7 gun salute at my Pappy's funeral, as silly as playing dress-up with my best childhood friends, and as special having the nurse pin on my "I'm a big sister" button when I saw my little brother for the first time.
So while getting older isn't my favorite thing to do, making memories certainly is. And I've come to realize you can't have one without the other.
This year I get to celebrate my birthday on Father's Day. So thank you Dad for allowing my imagination to run wild in the backyard, for never letting me fall during all our gymnastics routines, for forcing me to go to field hockey practice when I was sure I wanted to quit, for buying a new lawnmower just for me to use, and for walking me down the aisle when I'm sure you would have been happy to let me stay in my sunny, little bedroom at the end of the hall.

I love you Daddy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When "All Boy" Meets "All Girl"

Last week I watched my friend's daughter so she and the hubster could go out for a romantic evening. Abbie is just the sweetest little girl! She just turned a year recently, so she's a little over 4 months older than Jack. But much more petite and delicate. :) I felt like I was carrying around a feather all evening! Even her mouth is smaller, which I quickly realized after a failed attempt to feed her Jack-sized bites.
It was a fun time, and an interesting taste of what life would be like with two, even though they would never be that close in age. It was cute to see the kiddos entertain each other. At this age they don't really play together, just kind of look at each other, and occasionally brush hands. And Jack kept trying to grab her face. But all in all, he just thought Abbie was the greatest thing Mom's ever brought into the house.
Ever since Jack was born I've been hearing about how he is "all boy." I think that's a funny saying. But definitely true. I used to think all babies were just babies. But after being around some girl babies, it's becoming more and more obvious that there is a difference. I love to see Jack's boyishness come out, even during this age of limited development, and in spite of the fact that I snuggle, kiss, and smother him with mommy-love every chance I get!
Check out my totally smitten son, right after he got up from his nap and realized someone else was playing in his Jumpster. I love his boisterous laugh (that is laughing, even though it almost sounds like a tantrum) followed by frolicking Abbie's "la la la." What a duo!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Someone's got a case of the Mondays ...

I dread Mondays. I hate saying that too. I used to look forward to Mondays, heading back to work after an energizing weekends, ready to pounce on my to-do list. But it's just not the same anymore. Now I spend Monday mornings running around the house, trying to avoid getting baby spit-up on my work clothes, and making several trips to load up the the car (in the rain today) - diaper bag, lunch, Bumbo, stroller, pump, binder, purse, water, baby - usually whilst wearing heels. We're always running 5-10 minutes late. I breathlessly dump Jack off at our wonderful sitter's house and race into the office as fast as I can. I try to schedule back-to-back appointments with "prospective students" while I'm there, followed by two different staff meetings, then it's off to get Jack before heading home to see Daddy, eat cold leftovers for dinner and entertain a cranky baby who doesn't want to let mom out of his sight for the rest of the day.
It's not that I don't like my job. I really enjoy what I do. And it helps that I have some really appreciative students that make it a point to tell me how wonderful I am. :) Just today one of them asked if she could give me a hug (now that I think about it, what does it say about my personality when someone has to ask to give me a hug?). And despite trying to juggle career and parenthood, I've had a fairly successful year in the work world. So it's not the work itself, it's just trying to fit work into the rest of our life, and that is stressful.
And I'm not the only one who isn't crazy about Mondays. Today Jack cried for the first time when I left him at the sitter's. For the past 6 months I've had no problems leaving him, he seems to hardly notice whether I've come or gone. But not today. He's usually pretty happy to see me when I pick him up, and then he protests when I put him in the carseat and he can't see me anymore. And today was no exception. But a crying/yelling/screaming baby in the backseat doesn't make rush-hour traffic any easier, in fact, it seems to make traffic more congested and drivers more apt to cut me off. Ah Mondays. It's usually on these exasperating commutes that I decide that I never want to go back. Yes, every Monday I decide to become a stay-at-home mom. And then every Tuesday morning I make myself a cup of tea, check my email in my pajamas while Jack plays next to me floor, and decide this whole working thing isn't so bad after all.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What are the odds?

That someone would have a baby, on their birthday, which also happens to be their father's birthday? Apparently pretty good for our friends Nick and Lindsey! Cogratulations you two on beautiful baby Rose Emilia!
We were thinking Linz was practically in labor over 2 weeks ago, but Rose managed to drag it out until 4pm today as a special, and I'd say fairly incredible, birthday gift to her mommy and grandpa. I just can't get over the irony!

We were thrilled when Jon's two best friends from the college told us they were expecting last fall. Nick and Linz decided not to find out what they were having until the baby was born. It's been driving Jon crazy not knowing whether his best buddy's offspring was a boy or girl. And Jack was anxious to find out whether he'd have a roommate or formal date when we send the kids off to the Coast Guard Academy. Looks like it's a date! But friends only. I've recently decided that my son is not allowed to have a serious relationship until at least his senior year of college. He needs to focus on his studies. Mother knows best!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Daddy's not too thrilled ...

... about Jack's rat tail.

He's offered to give him a haircut, more like begged me to let him give Jack a haircut. But I've seen Jon's haircutting handiwork, and Jack's babyface would not look good with a "high and tight."
So the rat tail stays, for now. Besides, 80's is coming back right?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

8 Month Update

Well there's no doctor's appointment to talk about this time. In fact, there won't be another doctor's appointment until 12 months so we can only guess at Jack's weight, which judging from our scale is around 23 lbs. I think he's starting to level off, which is good because I can't keep up with his wardrobe demands!
This past month we officially moved to a 4-hour schedule, and even though it took us a little longer than usual to get there, it's wonderful! I love how predictable our days are, well at least as predictable as they can be with an 8 month old. Jack gets up at 7am, and he's pretty punctual. There's still a few days a week where he'll start talking to himself around 6:30, but he's pretty content to hang out in bed until I come get him for breakfast. After breakfast, a fresh diaper and change of clothes Jack will play with his toys while I eat and start doing work. Usually after about 2 hours of waketime Jack will be ready for a nap but in the mornings he gets tired a little earlier. So I try to have him in bed and ready for a nap at about the 1 hr., 40 min. mark. Nine months ago I would have thought that someone who made a big deal about and extra 10-15 minutes of waketime was CRAZY! But I've had to learn the hard way that if I miss Jack's sleepy window it is much more difficult for him to go to sleep and more likely that he'll wake up early. And then our whole day is off.
He still hasn't rolled, is showing no signs of crawling, and although he likes to hold on to our hands and stand on his feet, the walking thing appears to be a long way off. And I'm quite alright with that. :) We are having some issues with "squirming" though. There are some days when I'll go to get him out of bed and he'll either be crammed up in the top corner or completely turned around with his head at the foot of the bed. As you can guess it's virtually impossible to keep him covered at night!
Speaking of night, I finally worked up the courage a month ago to drop the dreamfeed (the last night nursing). He had stopped waking up for this long ago, and was beginning to eat less and less before falling back to sleep again. I was so afraid he'd wake up to eat in the middle of the night, not to mention it was the one time of day where my baby would simply snuggle in my arms. But I figured it wasn't good for me to continue disrupting his sleep. So I gave it up right after our visit to PA and since then he's been sleeping 11-11.5 hours every night! It feels great to be able to go to bed early if I need to. Plus I finally have the energy and motivation to get up and around before Jack does. I love the extra "me time" in the morning!
Jack continues to become more and more entertaining. He's quite vocal, and loves testing out his range. We're not quite sure what to make of his mood swings though. One second he's screaming and laughing, the next he's moaning with his chin on his chest. But he's quick to laugh, and that makes family life extra fun!
Jack also like to dish out kisses. But so far only to me. He always turns his head when Jon tries to get in on the action. Probably because my cheeks aren't as scratchy!
He's a very observant little guy. Everything catches his eye and demands his attention. It's definitely keeping me on my toes. There has been more than one incident where I've failed to save the cereal bowl from his quick little fingers, or that my chin has gotten banged by a little head trying to glance from one shoulder to the next. Half the time I'm not sure what he sees, but it sure must be interesting. He starts looking for his Dad the moment he hears the front door open and if we even try to sneak into his room at night to cover him back up we're usually greeted with a smiling, leg-pounding boy ready to play. Sometimes I wish he wasn't so hyper-aware. It's very difficult (read impossible) to get him to nap or eat when we're away from home. And now that he's discovered Mommy wears cool earrings and has lots of hair to get lost in ... like I said, he's easily distracted.
Jack is growing and changing so fast, it seems that as soon as I figure one thing out, we're on to adjusting to another new development!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Making the most of it

Lately I've been lamenting the fact that it's gorgeous outside, I live 75 steps from the beach, and I'm stuck in the house with a kid. A year ago I would've been lounging by the sea working on my tan, but we all know life changes when you become a parent. Not that I don't drag Jack along to the shore whenever I get a chance, it's just that it's a lot more work! First I have to get us both in swimsuits, then I have to pack the beach bag, pull together the large-enough-that-sand-isn't-within-his-reach-blanket, umbrella, and beach chair. Lather the 50+++ sunscreen on a squirmy babe. And carry all this out there with an additional 23 pounds on my hip. Then I spend the whole time entertaining a baby, trying to keep sand out of his mouth and the hat on his head. Not that our beach trips last long anyway. It's hard to accomplish much sunbathing when your son requires 3 naps a day.
I'm done griping. It's time I do something about this that works for both us. I've finally figured out a way that Jack can take a swim, in the shade, while I simultaneously get a tan and read a book! The only thing missing is the sand!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Baby Fever

I'm sure it's just the age I've reached, but all of a sudden it feels like anyone and everyone is gettin' pregnant. Well almost everyone, those who aren't, you know who you are, and Jack and I have a target on your house! Okay so I know it is not my personal mission to convince all couples to have babies, but c'mon, don't we make it look like so much fun!! ;)
When I was first pregnant I began to notice how many pregnant women there are in the world. Everywhere I'd go - mall, grocery store, school, church - I'd spot these Mamas. Now that Jack is here, I'm becoming more and more aware of babies. I eye down every stroller, wondering about the little tot inside, trying to figure out if each child is older, younger, bigger, smaller, cuter, smarter, etc. than Jack. (Usually they are not cuter or smarter).
You know you've arrived in the "childbearing years" when start running in to your friends and co-workers at Babies 'R Us on a Saturday. Part of me misses the end of the young and free era, but I've found that this age is a lot more fun than I imagined - full of excitement and anticipation. We're so thrilled for all of our friends who are having babies! Baby Fever has definitely arrived. I have to admit, I can't wait to be pregnant again. Besides, Jack has grown so big, so fast, I feel like I hardly got to enjoy the newborn months :(, I could really use another baby! But for those of you who are already asking, we're not ready quite yet. I really want to take the time to focus on Jack, continue learning all the tricks of a first-time mom and, most importantly, get my abs back! Plus we have to consider that we'll be making a big move next summer, and Jon will either be starting a new job or a new grad school program in the fall. Not that he would have to do much with a baby those first few months, but I could really use his help with Jack. :)
So for now I'm just going to enjoy all our friends' babies. I do love watching this new generation arrive. And I can't help but wonder which of these babies will end up being Jack's best buddies or even future wife (I know, I know, I'm one of those moms who starts picking out spouses from the womb).
Mommyhood is a whole new dimension, it's like experiencing life in a completely different way. And mommies love to talk about it with other mommies. So get yourself a baby and come hang out with Jack and I!
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